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Set Yourself Up For A Productive Day: 5 Tips

Set Yourself Up For A Productive Day: 5 Tips

“Where did the morning go?” you might ask just before lunch, when it seems like you’ve done nothing but answer email messages. “Is it that time already?” you think to yourself as another meeting is about to start, leaving you with no time to finish whatever task you had just started. “I guess

“Where did the morning go?” you might ask just before lunch, when it seems like you’ve done nothing but answer email messages.

“Is it that time already?” you think to yourself as another meeting is about to start, leaving you with no time to finish whatever task you had just started.

“I guess this will have to get pushed to tomorrow,” you realize as the moment comes to shut down for the day and take care of your family, or run errands that are important to your personal life.

We chase productivity all day, every day, but it’s hard to stay as caught up as we’d like to be.

Part of the problem is the level of distractions that crop up. There were already enough social media updates, email messages and phone calls competing for our attention before the pandemic emerged. Now we’re often blending the time we spend on work across an office, our homes or while hitting the road.

Fortunately, technology makes it easy to work from anywhere, but working as a salesperson is often multi-faceted and leads to a longer to-do list than most people might expect.

There is the time you need to devote to prospecting for new business, or following up on leads generated by the marketing department. At any given time you might have multiple deals in play, and are chasing down answers to questions that could make or break one of them. Meanwhile, existing customers might have questions or complaints that they didn’t direct to the customer service department.

When you’re in the thick of it all, there can be a sense that it’s too late to change course, and soon your day hasn’t been as productive as you hoped. When you start the day off well, on the other hand, you feel a positive momentum, where it’s easier to stay motivated and get even more accomplished than you initially expected. This becomes more likely when you:

1. Start with self-care

You might wake up thinking about what’s in your inbox, or the voicemails that will need to be heard, but don’t reach for your smartphone just yet. Think about how you can both mentally and physically prepare yourself to be at your very best when your work begins.

If you haven’t tried meditating before, it’s as simple as sitting still for a few minutes and paying attention to your breathing, rather than your thoughts. You might find it clears your head so you’re ready to get in the game. Some people also love putting on a pair of running shoes and getting their heart rate going with their favourite exercises. Writing in a journal about your worries or hopes for the day is also a great way to know yourself a little more and prioritize what’s important to you.

These are all habits that take up a little time, but they can pay off in terms of increased productivity.

2. Consult your KPIs

It’s hard to be productive when you’re simply reactive. In other words, don’t be solely driven by doing things in the order you’re being asked to do them by others (even if they’re important people, like your customers).

Instead, think about your key performance indicators (KPIs). These can be KPIs that are set forth by your company or ones you’ve adapted to gauge your own performance as a salesperson.

Your KPIs could include the number of meetings you want to book in a given week, or month. Some might look at the time they spend nurturing customer relationships, even if it’s on social media. For others, it’s the extent to which they’re working smarter rather than simply harder, perhaps by making better use of the data in their CRM.

Organizing your day based on your KPIs means no matter what happens, you’ll likely get closer to at least some of your longer-term goals.

3. Mark what’s been done

If you have a to-do list written on paper, literally crossing off an item feels good.

The same thing happens if you have an app that allows you to press a button and see a to-do list item disappear. You might use a check mark instead of crossing things off, or highlighting something as part of a colour-coded system that relates to your KPIs.

It doesn’t matter which approach you take. Just make sure you don’t start your day without a physical motion that will help you chart your progress. This is a standard feature in many productivity tools, and they can often be customized.

4. Honour your breaks

Burnout is just productivity without the appropriate amount of rest.

You might think skipping your lunch break will help you get to the finish line on a project, but being hungry will get in the way of moving on to the next one. Failing to look away from a screen isn’t just bad for your ideas. You miss the opportunity to daydream, develop new ideas or simply enjoy the weather.

Making a reasonable amount of “free time” in your day up front means you have something to look forward to. It brings a sense of balance so you can come back to your next task feeling recharged, rather than utterly depleting yourself.

5. Review your own data

We don’t just work with data all day. We also generate it. This includes the number of calls you make as a salesperson to the leads you’ve scored, the time you spend on your pitch deck and so on.

Much of this data will be logged into the CRM. You can not only use it to improve your win rate, but to get a better sense of where you’re spending the bulk of your time. Are you allocating it in the right areas? If not, where are you getting off course? Is it consistent?

The most productive people don’t just stay busy. They tend to be very self-aware, because they realize the value of continually looking for areas they can improve. And then, once they’ve found them, they get on with the rest of their day.

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